Inspiration, much like emotion, happens to be one of those things we can often get lost within and struggle to recall without the helpful nudge of others around us. The problem with this when it comes to creating new work, is that it relies on you to remain as current or observant as possible in order to find things around you to spring board from.
That approach isn’t exactly a problem per se, I mean hell, who doesn’t find inspiration in the world around them? Be it movies, music, lyrics, sounds, other photographers works, comics etc… there’s truly an endless field to pick your flowers from but sometimes we want to start from a fresh foundation. A new idea, something more unique or off the cuff.
Here’s what I propose in order to get some new ideas off the ground. Write yourself 3 random categories right next to to each other, they can be anything, I’ll go for: Prop, Mood, Colour.
Now write yourself random words that you think of under each category:
- Props: Lamp, Chain, Chair, Ball, Baseball Bat.
- Mood: Happy, Sad, Scary, Exciting, Mysterious.
- Colour: Blue, Green, Brown, Red, Purple.Now pick one from each place and see what you get.
Chair, Exciting, Brown… Whoa.. OK my mind takes me somewhere dangerously close to toilet humour! Let’s try again!
Lamp, Mysterious, Blue… Bingo, I’m feeling something, are you?
I can already start to picture a person left side of the frame, looking back towards the camera, holding up a lamp in a foggy area, blue coat or blue night sky, add in orange on the lamp flame for complimentary colour and bingo we have a starting point!
- Props: Sword, Chain, Helmet, Stake, Gun,
- Location: Desert, Party, Pool, Moon, Warehouse,
- Era: 10BC, 1800’s, 1950’s, 70’s, 80’s.
Combination: Gun, Desert, 10BC for a crazy juxtaposition which you could shoot at the local beach?
Or perhaps: Chain, Pool, 1950’s, now I’m getting a Mafia style vibe of someone tied up in a chair head down with a single light source above, pool in the background or perhaps a floating body for the red blood and blue water colour combo etc.
I did this last year to come up with a combination that resulted in a conceptual image based around different emotions, mirrors and the woods.
Check out the shot at the top of the post.
So what do you guys think? Why rely on finding inspiration when you can create it! The reason I think this works is because you’re using words that YOU are thinking of, which means there’s a fairly high chance you’re actually somewhat interested in those words and choices.. that leads on to a picture idea you’re gonna want to shoot right!?
Anyhow, that’s it for this week, let me see what lists you came up with and what you went you and created!
You guys got any other ways to find your ideas? Let me know in the comments below!